An ongoing story of God's work on campus: God is real, Jesus saves, and you are loved, always.

Rewind, Pause, and Push Play: Aaron says, “We’re All Play-Doh.”

Here’s the deal: if you miss an Axiom service, or you really loved the message, or you didn’t quite understand the message, or you want to share the message, you should check in every Friday afternoon!  Here you’ll find my recap of Thursday’s message, some verses to dwell on over the next week, and a few thoughts on how to take what you learn on Thursday nights and put it into action.  That being said, here we go.

January 20, 2011

Rewind: Do you remember the last time you played with Play-Doh?  For some of us, it may have been just a few short weeks ago (that’s right, I did play with Play-Doh over break), but for others, you may to have think way back to elementary school when your teacher had to explain to you that the yellow goop in your hands was not actually food.  No matter how long ago, I’m sure you remember the way it felt in your hands, the way it smelled, and the way you could mold it into whatever your heart desired; but can you remember ever thinking that God likes to play with Play-Doh too?  Maybe, but probably not.  In fact, I would venture to guess that most of us at Axiom last night were surprised to hear Aaron draw that conclusion, but it makes sense when you think about it.  Every one of us is like Play-Doh – we all have the potential to become something more than what we are right now. 

As Aaron said last night, inside each of us is a little bit of Heaven and a little bit of Hell, and it’s not hard to figure out which part God wants to see us embrace; God longs for His children to choose a holy life – one set apart from the rest.  The trick is that humans do not naturally gravitate towards holiness; on our own we can’t do anything good or righteous in the eyes of our perfect God.  But when we decide to set our eyes on the Lord and walk towards Him, Jesus and the Holy Spirit step in to help us out – to wash away our sins, and help us become more and more holy.

So what exactly does it mean to live a holy life?  Basically, it means walking closely with Jesus.  Do you pray constantly?  Do you ask God to join you for dinner?  Do you have real conversations with your Father where you spend time talking and listening?  Do you ask Him to search your heart and shine His light into the darkest corners?

It isn’t always easy to do those things; it can be scary to give up control over your life, and sometimes it hurts quite a bit.  That fear is where our favorite excuses, or as Aaron termed them, “our misassumptions,” come from, right?  We tell ourselves that we have to be perfect before we can be holy, when the truth is that God loves us right now, and He sent His son because we are anything but perfect.  We decide that if we were more like C.S. Lewis or Billy Graham, we would have a better shot of becoming holy, when the truth is that they were, and are, just as flawed as you and me.   We figure that in order to be holy we have to change absolutely everything, and it’s just too hard, when the truth is that God made you the way you are for a reason – He is, after all, the source of your raw material.  The truth of the matter is that, becoming holy doesn’t necessarily mean changing who you are deep down, but rather, changing what you’re doing with who you are.

The question you have to ask yourself then is what type of person are you becoming?  God created you in His image, He sent His son to die for you so that you could one day live with Him for eternity, and He’s offered to let His Spirit dwell in you.  The God of the universe wants to work on you; He wants to take what He has already given you – your passions, your skills, your dreams – and transform you into something even better, something holy.  What Aaron said last night is completely true: God loves you just the way you are, but he refuses to leave you that way.  He wants to give you more; to change your flaws into something beautiful.  Will you let Him?

Pause: Take a moment to think about what it means to be a child of God, and what it would look like to let Him work in you so that you become more and more holy.

“So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.” Galatians 4:7 NIV

“I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well… Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:14, 23-24

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.  Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” Colossians 3:12-17

Push Play: Not too long ago, I challenged you to join me this year in trying to live as though Jesus was right next to me 24/7.  In other words, my goal this year, and hopefully yours too, is to live a life saturated with Jesus.  I’ve been trying to spend more time alone with Him each and every day, and so far, I’m happy to say I’ve stuck with it.  The thing is, the more time I spend with God, the more I see my imperfections.  But that’s what walking with God means.  When you ask Him to change your life, to make you more and more holy, He actually does it!  Mind you, that doesn’t mean he snaps His fingers and makes us perfect, it means He opens our eyes to our flaws and our sin, and shows us a better way to live.  Becoming holy is something we will never be finished with while here on this Earth; our God is infinitely holy, which means there is always going to be something more for Him to teach us.  This week, pray that God will open your eyes and your heart to what He wants you to become.  It’ll be a humbling experience, but one that is well worth the pain.

Much Love,

Taylor

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One response

  1. Pingback: Rewind. Pause. Push Play. His rules remove your chains. « Axiom at the University of Illinois

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